TIME TO FLEE- 6 SIGNS YOU’RE IN A POTENTIALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP

Relationship

-Pearl Peters

My past experiences made me wary of men so it wasn’t love at first sight when I met Sammy. I can’t even tell who fell in love first but our relationship steadily grew from friendship to dating and before long, marriage was on our minds.

Everyone described our relationship as ‘10/10’ as our love for each other was evident for all to see. He would call me first thing in the morning, when he got to work, before he goes to sleep and spend every single free moment with me.  Though he required the same “accountability” from me, it was hard keeping up because I wasn’t used to reporting my every move to someone else.

He didn’t like me hanging out with friends and kept saying it was wrong to ‘share’ me with them. Left to him, we would have a world of our own. Wanting to be myself brought up a lot of arguments, so I had to be everything he wanted me to be because I loved him.

So when we had yet another argument that resulted in him forcefully taking my phone and smashing it because I’d spent ten minutes talking to my boss on the phone, I was shocked. He bruised my wrists in the process but because I loved him, I blamed myself for upsetting him. For me, Sammy was just the perfect guy and whenever he ‘acted out’, it was my fault.

Still, I was ready to go all the way with him until Popsy – that’s what we call Pastor Opeyemi – came to my rescue. He saw me when he was driving by one rainy evening and gave me a lift. Somehow, he saw through the wetness on my face and my constant shaking that I was crying and it wasn’t the rain. Sammy and I had gotten into an argument in the car and he ordered me to get down before zooming off. Popsy calmed me down and managed to get through to me. He made me realise I had to walk away while I still had time or I would end up losing myself, or even my life later on.

Here are some of the red flags my discussion with him revealed:

  1. Fear replaces love

It got to a point when I couldn’t tell if I loved him or was just scared of him. The fear of saying or doing the wrong thing enveloped me. I was even scared that I would lose him because I couldn’t bear the thought of being alone.

  1. Our arguments got out of hand a lot

Sammy hadn’t hit me yet but he’d broken my phone and could get really mean with his utterances. Pastor Ope made me realise that it was only a matter of time before he got physical. Yes — clearing the air is healthy but when arguments go south all the time, it’s not a good sign.

  1. You feel alienated from friends

Somehow, I lost a lot of friends because I was too worried about not upsetting Sammy than being a good pal. I felt alone as I couldn’t even tell anyone because of his reaction afterwards. If I kept up with my friends, at least one would be bound to notice but Sammy didn’t even give me breathing space.

  1. Your partner’s overly possessive

Possessiveness can be healthy but it can be over the top too. Saying “He’s my man,” or “She’s my woman” can be an expression of commitment. However, Sammy basically ‘policed’ me; wanting to know everything and everyone I’m with, or what I’m doing 24/7. I thought it was love but realised he just didn’t trust me alone.

  1. You’re dominated

The natural outcome of a possessive partner is domination. I had no say over my life anymore because I ceded control to Sammy to make him happy. Big mistake; everything I wore, career choices, friendships seemed to be vetted by him and before long, some dreams I thought of fulfilling ended up being suffocated.

  1. Abusive Behaviour.

This took long to happen but while he hadn’t really hit me, he’d already damaged my stuff and roughened me up. Abuse can be physical or emotional. I didn’t experience blatant abuse in my relationship with Sammy but the signs were already there and I was already losing myself.

If you aren’t being treated with love and respect, don’t just sit there blaming yourself. Get help!

TIME TO FLEE- 6 SIGNS YOU’RE IN A POTENTIALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP

-Pearl Peters

My past experiences made me wary of men so it wasn’t love at first sight when I met Sammy. I can’t even tell who fell in love first but our relationship steadily grew from friendship to dating and before long, marriage was on our minds.

Everyone described our relationship as ‘10/10’ as our love for each other was evident for all to see. He would call me first thing in the morning, when he got to work, before he goes to sleep and spend every single free moment with me.  Though he required the same “accountability” from me, it was hard keeping up because I wasn’t used to reporting my every move to someone else.

He didn’t like me hanging out with friends and kept saying it was wrong to ‘share’ me with them. Left to him, we would have a world of our own. Wanting to be myself brought up a lot of arguments, so I had to be everything he wanted me to be because I loved him.

So when we had yet another argument that resulted in him forcefully taking my phone and smashing it because I’d spent ten minutes talking to my boss on the phone, I was shocked. He bruised my wrists in the process but because I loved him, I blamed myself for upsetting him. For me, Sammy was just the perfect guy and whenever he ‘acted out’, it was my fault.

Still, I was ready to go all the way with him until Popsy – that’s what we call Pastor Opeyemi – came to my rescue. He saw me when he was driving by one rainy evening and gave me a lift. Somehow, he saw through the wetness on my face and my constant shaking that I was crying and it wasn’t the rain. Sammy and I had gotten into an argument in the car and he ordered me to get down before zooming off. Popsy calmed me down and managed to get through to me. He made me realise I had to walk away while I still had time or I would end up losing myself, or even my life later on.

Here are some of the red flags my discussion with him revealed:

  1. Fear replaces love

It got to a point when I couldn’t tell if I loved him or was just scared of him. The fear of saying or doing the wrong thing enveloped me. I was even scared that I would lose him because I couldn’t bear the thought of being alone.

  1. Our arguments got out of hand a lot

Sammy hadn’t hit me yet but he’d broken my phone and could get really mean with his utterances. Pastor Ope made me realise that it was only a matter of time before he got physical. Yes — clearing the air is healthy but when arguments go south all the time, it’s not a good sign.

  1. You feel alienated from friends

Somehow, I lost a lot of friends because I was too worried about not upsetting Sammy than being a good pal. I felt alone as I couldn’t even tell anyone because of his reaction afterwards. If I kept up with my friends, at least one would be bound to notice but Sammy didn’t even give me breathing space.

  1. Your partner’s overly possessive

Possessiveness can be healthy but it can be over the top too. Saying “He’s my man,” or “She’s my woman” can be an expression of commitment. However, Sammy basically ‘policed’ me; wanting to know everything and everyone I’m with, or what I’m doing 24/7. I thought it was love but realised he just didn’t trust me alone.

  1. You’re dominated

The natural outcome of a possessive partner is domination. I had no say over my life anymore because I ceded control to Sammy to make him happy. Big mistake; everything I wore, career choices, friendships seemed to be vetted by him and before long, some dreams I thought of fulfilling ended up being suffocated.

  1. Abusive Behaviour.

This took long to happen but while he hadn’t really hit me, he’d already damaged my stuff and roughened me up. Abuse can be physical or emotional. I didn’t experience blatant abuse in my relationship with Sammy but the signs were already there and I was already losing myself.

If you aren’t being treated with love and respect, don’t just sit there blaming yourself. Get help!

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